Dear Nikki & CN Community:

Learning to accept the natural state of my hair and all of its ups/downs had been an issue since I was a kid. My mother always combed my hair in plaits, pigtails, and for special occasions a roller set. I wanted to be like the other girls who wore their hair down their backs straight and relaxed, but mine was a bushy, afro as it was once called.

This infuriated me to no end! I was ashamed of my big, fluffy mane and I begged for a relaxer but didn’t get my wish until I moved to Houston to stay with my aunt in the 6th grade….a white girl perm! Hair fell out from breakage, didn’t know what to do with it, needless to say I spent alot of teary days in front of the mirror trying to get it right.

Fast forward to August 2007, still getting perms, at least twice a year, hair still breaking off from perms and then Rihanna steps on the scene with this asymmetrical, fly bob. Tired of dealing with so much hair and wanting to try something new CHOP, CHOP, it was gone!

I didn’t know how to style it, I was miserable because I had always had length and everyone was in my ear now telling me I was crazy for cutting it all off. My hair grew back to a good length in by the beginning of ’08 and I got my last relaxer Feb 2008. Fast forward again to Oct 2009, my stylist convinced me to try mahogany highlights, loved it! Decided then that I never wanted another perm since I was rocking color. I had already been relaxer free for over a year, so why go back? Went in for a touch up a few weeks later and came out fierce with Chili Paste red hair! Everyone thought it was a wig, the color was so overpowering to me and I was STILL unhappy, smh!!

By the time I had gotten used to the color mid Nov 09, guess who’s preggo?!? Needless to say, I never went it for another color touch up and began experimenting with wearing natural curls. During my pregnancy I discovered Curly Nikki, Newly Natural, and had tried a few all natural hair products. I was in love!! After my baby was born, discovering the natural movement was the best thing that ever happened to me. Wash and go’s became my best friend!

I learned how to create a regimen and better yet accept and love my curls. A true product junky by nature, I am continually on the quest for HG’s, lol. Feb 2011, I went to my stylist get the last of my relaxed ends cut off and my last flat ironed style this year so far. I want thank you Nikki, and all the beautiful natural, ladies from the CN forums (just discovered in April!) for sharing their tips, challenges, and experiences. I am embracing it all, relaxer free and loving me…